Substance Use and Misuse Case Study

Introduction (40 total points)

Model of Addiction (20 points)

Chose (or develop) a model or theory of addiction that you will use as the framework for your assignment. Make sure to include the following:

  • A brief summary of the theory or model
  • The components/processes of the theory or model (please include the processes commonly included in theories of addiction which apply to your theory/model (Cost-Benefit Analysis; Incentive Sensationing; Reward Seeking; Attachment; Drive Reduction; Distress Avoidance; Social Influence; Impaired Control; Classical Conditioning; Operant Conditioning).
  • A justification for why you chose this model (provide evidence as necessary from course readings, and utilize comparisons from other models)

Identified Substance (20 points)

Identify a substance, and cover the following, citing evidence for each:

  • Usage rates and misuse rates overall and by demographics
  • The legality of the substance, and possible social consequences of use (e.g., fines or arrest)
  • Effects of use (short term and long term) (e.g., DMT causes hallucinations)
  • Risks of use (e.g., health effects, problems with everyday functioning)
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Case Summary (40 total points)

Client Description (5 points)

Develop a case summary for a fictional client (or one who is inspired by past or current field involvement, with all identifying information omitted) to whom you will provide substance use treatment for the substance identified in the introduction. Make sure to include the following:

  • Identifying information (name, age, gender identity, ethnicity, race, socio-economic status, occupation, and family information)
  • The presenting problem (substance use related)
  • History of the presenting problem
  • Family and personal psychological history (i.e., family history of alcohol misuse)

Assessment Used (20 points)

Identify three assessment instruments you could use to assess your client’s substance use disorder. Discuss the strengths and limitations of each, including reliability and validity (or lack of psychometrics). Use this information to discuss which instrument you decided to pick, and justify why you chose it.

Risk Factors Identified (15 points)

Discuss risk factors specific to your client, based on the substance misused, demographics, and case history. For example, if your client is experiencing poverty or is a single parent, there may be barriers to inpatient treatment. A younger client may have different health risks than an older client. The risks for male and female clients can vary based on substances.

Make sure to discuss the following types of risks:

  • Risks affecting your client’s health
  • Risks affecting your client’s access to treatment
  • Risks affecting your client’s recovery

Treatment Plan (20 total points)

Identify an evidence-based treatment you will recommend to your client. Describe the intervention, including its components and efficacy. Describe why you chose this treatment for your client. Make sure to include which intervention you will use for each phase of treatment (listed below):

  • Early Intervention 
  • Engagement in treatment
  • Stabilization and withdrawal management 
  • Treatment type or treatment referral type (including both the type of treatment, e.g. intensive outpatient treatment, and the modality, i.e. types of therapy, medication, etc.)
  • Recovery support


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